Same-sex couple seeks right to divorce in Ky.AP , Associated Press
Nov. 4, 2013 11:51 AM ET
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A same-sex couple who married in Massachusetts is seeking a divorce in Kentucky.
The case has presented a dilemma since Kentucky does not recognize gay marriage.
Judges and divorce lawyers told The Courier Journal (http://cjky.it/1czIeN7 ) that the case filed in Jefferson Family Court involving Alysha Romero and Rebecca Sue Romero is the first of its kind in the state.
Alysha Romero's lawyer, Louis Waterman, said the women should be allowed to part ways in Kentucky instead of having to move back to Massachusetts for divorce proceedings.
"I have a career here, a life here, and I think I should have the same right as a heterosexual to divorce here," said Alysha Romero.
But both opponents and supporters of gay marriage say the court's only choice will be to dismiss the petition because Kentucky law bans gay marriage and the recognition of such marriages.
Waterman says he'll appeal if the case is dismissed. He said he would take the case to the Kentucky Supreme Court and argue that the state's marriage amendment should be thrown out because it violates equal protection of law guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Beth Littrell, a staff attorney for Lambda Legal, a national gay rights organization that isn't involved in the case, says the reasoning to deny a divorce to the couple doesn't make sense.
"It is an illogical and ironic position," she said in an interview.
Opponents of gay marriage rejected her argument.
"The marriage can't either cease or continue because legally it does not exist," said Martin Cothran, an analyst for the Family Foundation of Kentucky.
Professor Mary Patricia Byrn of William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn., said states that prohibit same-sex marriage haven't allowed divorces, but noted in a law journal article that it was a possibility because many states like Kentucky wrote marriage amendments to prevent same-sex couples from getting "the benefits of marriage."
"Divorce is not a benefit of marriage," she said. "It is the unfortunate result of a failed marriage."
Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com